Suspension is an essential feature in nearly all bikes. It absorbs heavy impact and vibrations perfectly, giving you a smooth and comfortable ride. But do BMX bikes have suspension?
Most BMX bikes don’t come with a suspension. Those that do are only a handful, and the reason for that is that a suspension makes a BMX bike heavier and less agile, thus harder to control. But without it, the bike feels lighter, more maneuverable, and easier to control.
BMX bikes are all about thrust and power, so a suspension setup is unnecessary. Again, a BMX bike’s frame should be stiff, especially for race BMX, which can only happen without a suspension (rigid frame).
This guide will explain why BMX bikes lack a suspension and address this question – can you put a suspension on a BMX?
We’ll also look at the few BMX bikes with suspension and how they differ from rigid options. But first, let’s look at the benefits of a bike suspension.
Why is a Bike Suspension Important?
The job of a bike suspension is to absorb impact and vibrations. It literary soaks them up, preventing you from feeling the direct hit. In doing so, it becomes easier to endure rougher terrains and control the bike on technical sections.
Unfortunately, a bike suspension adds extra weight to the bike, which is why BMX bikes mostly lack it.
Why Don’t BMX Bikes Have Suspension?
As stated earlier, BMX bikes don’t need to have a suspension, and here are the reasons why that is the case:
1. To Save on Weight – Suspension Makes BMX Bikes Heavier
One primary reason your BMX bike lacks a suspension is to minimize weight. A suspension fork is a major bike component, so it’s likely to impact its weight.
Remember, a BMX bike should be as maneuverable as possible, and for that to happen, its weight should be manageable. The bike shouldn’t feel heavier, which is why the suspension is missing on most BMX bikes.
2. For Easier Maintenance – Suspension Calls for Extra Bike Maintenance
Bike suspension sucks when it comes to bike maintenance. It requires regular servicing, which often becomes expensive. And as you probably know, BMX bikes are probably the most abused bikes. So you wouldn’t want an option that is too demanding maintenance-wise.
3. Better Bike Control
I know I mentioned that a bike suspension makes it easier to control a BMX on technical sections. But on the flip side, the suspension could be the source of imbalance if it makes the bike front too heavy.
Extra bike weight calls for extra effort to control it and even some extra pedaling effort. And so, to save you from all these demands, BMX manufacturers opt to skip the suspension.
4. For Easier Maneuver
If you are a pro rider, you already know that a lighter bike will be easier to maneuver when doing the tricks and racing on busy streets.
So, if you install a suspension on your bike, it will add weight, making it difficult to maneuver around and will generally slow you down.
Can You Put a Suspension On A BMX Bike?
Since you know the importance of a bike suspension, especially if you have a suspension mountain bike, you may be tempted to add the shock-absorbing feature to your BMX. But is that doable? Will a suspension help?
For starters, it’s possible to replace your existing BMX rigid fork with a suspension fork. You can even add a suspension seat or seat post. Note, however, that such a move can have severe ramifications on your BMX and overall riding experience.
Here are notable outcomes:
a) A Change of the Bike Geometry
A suspension generally alters a bike’s geometry, which will happen when you add the feature to your BMX. In that case, you can expect the following:
- Steeper Headtube
A bike suspension is likely to make your BMX’s headtube angle steeper. This angle will likely force you to lead forward –aerodynamically, which is beneficial when racing. So, unless it’s a race BMX bike, you shouldn’t fit with a suspension fork. It’ll only make the cycle heavier and less agile.
- Raised Front-End
This is possible when you try fitting an MTB suspension on a BMX. In such a case, the suspension fork becomes too long for the bike, raising its front end and affecting its maneuverability.
Overall, if you cannot maneuver the bike properly, there is always the risk of losing control and crashing, and you wouldn’t want that.
b) An Interference in Your Tricks’ Routine
A change in the bike’s geometry because of a suspension will likely affect the bike’s performance. Since you cannot handle the bike correctly, you are probably not going to perform tricks and do heavy jumps properly.
So, while the suspension will take the heavy hits when you come crashing, it interferes with the most crucial factor: bike handling. If you cannot handle the bike, you cannot execute any maneuver.
c) Loss of Ground Contact
Ground contact is essential when freestyling with a BMX. The feeling of the tires rubbing against the ground surface as you grip the bike is unrivaled.
Sadly, a suspension takes that all away. It robs you of the very most important aspect of BMXing. Since the suspension absorbs all impact, you won’t feel the connection between the bike and the ground.
d) BMX Suspensions Are Not Readily Available
Even if you decide to fit a suspension, you will most likely use that of another bike, even a seat suspension. That’s because manufacturers don’t make them as they understand why they omit them from the bikes in the first place.
Are there BMX Bikes with Suspension?
Now that you know that BMX suspensions are not easy to find even though you can fit them, you may choose to skip the stress and get a suspension BMX right away. The question, however, is, ‘are suspension BMX bikes available?’
Yes, these bikes are available, but they are only a handful, as I mentioned earlier.
One worthy choice is the Redline BMX Bicycle Recon. This 20-inch BMX bike comes with rear and front suspension and is suitable for 4’4” – 6” + tall riders.
Another BMX bike with suspension is the Eastern Traildigger. This BMX bike has suspensions on its rear and front end, promising maximum bump absorption. The only issue is that the suspension makes it heavier. So, that’s a sacrifice you have to make.
But overall, there aren’t many BMX bikes with suspensions for the reasons I explained earlier.
Luckily, there is also ongoing research on a BMX with a suspension. Though one thing is for sure, we should be expecting a BMX that is different from the traditional one.
The BMX frame will be designed for a fork installation which means that the suspension too will be readily available in the market.
Is A Bike with Suspension Better?
Well, a suspension setup will depend on the purpose of the bike. While BMX bikes are good without a suspension, a mountain bike is excellent with one. Again, while others prefer a road bike without a suspension, others don’t.
However, bikes with a suspension are good because of the following reasons:
- Better bike control – Unlike the rigid option, you will have better bike control with a suspension bike. That is evident when taking corners. The suspension gives you reasonable control of the gears, brakes, and wheels.
- More comfortable to ride – A bike suspension can help a great deal when riding on bumpy and pothole-hit roads. It absorbs the heavy impact and soaks up vibrations to provide a smoother riding experience back home.
- Better speed – A bike suspension lets you go much faster on rough grounds and downhill. You, however, lose the pace when going uphill, which is quite a shame.
So, for these three reasons, a suspension fork is an integral part of most bikes, apart from a BMX.
People Also Ask
Do All BMX Bikes Have Suspension?
No, most BMX bikes don’t have a suspension. Only a few feature either a suspension fork or suspensions on both wheels. The reason for that is to make the bike lighter, easier to control, and more maneuverable.
Why Do BMX Bikes Have No Suspension?
BMX bikes lack a suspension to make them excel in tricks, stunts, and jumps. You will need a lighter bike which is not the case when installing a suspension. A bike suspension makes a BMX heavier, thus less maneuverable.
Do BMX Bikes Have Suspension? Closing Thought
Generally, most BMX bikes don’t have a suspension, which is justifiable. A bike suspension makes these bikes unnecessarily heavier, thus, less maneuverable.
That, however, doesn’t mean that there are no suspension BMX bikes. The number is small, but these bikes do exist. However, they are not the best for serious riders as they slow down the bicycle and make it less maneuverable. They are only best for casual riders, for whom the only thing that matter is comfort.